Norman J. Leonard

Creditors' Rights and Intellectual Property Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
828.348.6013 Fax 828.348.6077
Post Office Box 2020, Asheville, NC 28802-2020

Norman's practice encompasses a broad range of creditors' rights and intellectual property matters.  His creditors' rights practice includes the representation of lenders, trade creditors, community associations, and other creditors in collections, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and other proceedings.  His work also involves drafting a wide variety of contract, loan, and workout documents. 

In his intellectual property practice, Norman assists businesses and individuals with identifying, protecting, enforcing, and managing their U.S. and international IP rights; with trademark and service mark selection, clearance, and registration; in trademark proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and in negotiating the acquisition and transfer of intellectual property rights.

Prior to attending law school and joining the Firm, Norman worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for six years.


  • LL.M., with Distinction, Intellectual Property Law, University College London, 2010
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Elon University School of Law, 2009. Editor-in-Chief, Elon Law Review.
  • B.S., Saint Mary's College of California, 1998

Representative Experience

Creditor's Rights

  • Representing lenders in the repossession and sale of heavy equipment and vehicles
  • Defending lenders against lender liability claims based on allegations of breach of contract, negligence, breach of good faith and fair dealing, respondeat superior, and violations of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act
  • Representing lenders in transactions involving the sale and assignment of loan documents and negotiable instruments
  • The collection of judgments for lenders through the prosecution of fraudulent transfer actions involving real estate
  • Representing businesses in real estate foreclosures and workout negotiations with their lenders

Intellectual Property

  • Counseling breweries, distilleries, wineries, restaurants, and other businesses in trademark and service mark selection, clearance, and registration
  • Assisting various types of businesses in the enforcement of their intellectual property rights against infringers
  • Assisting clients with responding to cease and desist letters alleging trademark infringement and negotiating amicable resolutions
  • Coordinating the registration, maintenance, and enforcement international trademark rights for businesses conducting business in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere

Honors and Distinctions*

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2022-2024

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Asheville Alumnus, Class XXX)
  • Brewers Association Associate Member
  • Community Associations Institute
  • Harry C. Martin American Inn of Court
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Bankruptcy; Intellectual Property Law
  • North Carolina Creditors Bar Association
  • Trademark Preparation and Prosecution
  • Trademark Registrability and Infringement Opinions

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2009
  • Georgia, 2016
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

About Me

What I admire most about our intellectual property clients is their incredible enthusiasm and creativity.  I'm particularly entertained by all of the interesting tradenames, slogans, and logos that our trademark clients bring to us for vetting and protection.  It is one of the things that makes practicing intellectual property law so much fun.

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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